FOR MANY celebrities, the allure of motor racing is irresistible.
The adrenaline rush of speeding past a chequered flag and the attraction of flying around chicanes make it one of the most exhilarating sports in the world.
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On Saturday, Emily Ratajkowski became the latest in a long line of actors to swap the comforts of Hollywood for a high-octane experience behind a steering wheel, and in doing so became the first female celebrity driver of a Formula E car, at the Berlin E-Prix – the ninth race of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship season.
The We Are Your Friends actor donned a white and black racesuit before hitting the track, and joined a healthy list of women to get behind the wheel of the pure-electric single seater. The most recent to compete in Formula E was Swiss racer Simona de Silvestro in 2016.
Prior to the Berlin race, Ratajkowski was seen trying out a simulator while taking instruction from the retired Formula One World Champion, Nico Rosberg.
During the weekend, Rosberg himself returned to the cockpit; the first such occasion since retiring at the end of the 2016 F1 season. He drove the brand new Formula E Season 5 Gen2 car for the first time publicly.
Rosberg paraded the electric series’ new vehicle, to be used in the series next year, through the streets of Berlin — and admitted the racing bug came flooding back.
However, Rosberg has insisted he is still happily retired and has no intentions to join the championship in any capacity.
“First of all, I stopped F1 — among many reasons — because of the demand it has on time,” Rosberg told Autosport.
“And it’s just such a huge commitment and the role of a team principal, like the way Toto [Wolff] does it or the way you would have to do it, again it would go back to being such a life commitment.
“This new freedom over my time has really been a powerful step for me”
“Because all the other guys are committing their lives to it, so to do well you need to do the same and can’t just do it as a part-time job. Now, at the moment, I would not see myself in any such role.
“This new freedom which I have in my life — which I value a lot — freedom over my time, has really been a powerful step for me, so I don’t see myself going away from that any time soon. But you never know.”
Rosberg has become an investor in Formula E and, alongside recently-announced Venturi driver Felipe Massa, is one of the biggest names to attach himself to the street-racing championship.
The current Formula E series is being led by former Toro Rosso F1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne.